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Re: Astarte and Mary

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  • ernestsdavis
    (I m having trouble posting this, so my apologies if it ends up posted multiple times) ... Lynn -- In the Hebrew Bible, the word Elohim in various forms can
    Message 1 of 31 , Jun 17, 2013
      (I'm having trouble posting this, so my apologies if it ends up posted multiple times)

      > It's interesting you bring up this particular example, since a friend of mine, an Inuit teacher and author who focuses a great deal on paleo-Hebrew, has recently written a book on the importance of using the Names of God (rather than simply "God" or "LORD", standing in for YHWH, etc.). I think the fact that we refer to the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob as "God" instead of "YHWH" leaves a lot of room for confusion. It's like referring to "the President" without any context - which president? President of what, and when?

      Lynn --

      In the Hebrew Bible, the word "Elohim" in various forms can mean either God or the pagan gods (or human judges). So the standard translation of "elohim" as "God" is actually a perfect fit; there is the same ambiguity in Hebrew as in English.

      The Tetragrammaton YHWH is indeed more of an individual name. However, Jewish practice since about the third century BC is that the name is never pronounced outside the service at the Temple in Jerusalem (destroyed 70 AD). Instead, the word "adonai", which means "my Lord" is substituted. Translations of the Bible have generally used some form of "Lord" to translate the Tetragrammaton, since the Septuagint (though apparently some early manuscripts of the Septuagint use the Tetragrammaton).

      Incidentally, the Biblical narrative of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob rarely uses the Tetragrammaton; it almost always uses "Elohim" (God).

      So I'm not sure why it is "important" to use YHWH rather than "God" or "the Lord". The translation of "Elohim" as "God" is correct. The translation of YHWH as "the Lord" is at least supported by 2000 years of tradition. (More years, as far as we know, than the Tetragrammaton was in actual spoken use.) Of course, if your friend finds it personally helpful in his readings of the Bible, or prayer, or spiritual exercises, then it's legitimately important for him.

      -- Ernie
    • Tony Zbaraschuk
      ... For that matter, there s Michael Witzel s _The Origins of the World s Mythologies_, which is grand synthesis on an almost unbelievable scale (myths,
      Message 31 of 31 , Jun 17, 2013
        On Mon, Jun 17, 2013 at 02:36:10PM -0700, John Rateliff wrote:
        > And it's just as interesting to see what current thinking among
        > the historians and archeologists and scientist is on some of these
        > same issues -- e.g., the recent Cunliffe and Koch volume CELTIC
        > FROM THE WEST, which I only learned about at this year's Kalamazoo,
        > challenges a lot of what I'd been taught about the origins of the
        > Celts and turns it on its head.

        For that matter, there's Michael Witzel's _The Origins of the World's
        Mythologies_, which is grand synthesis on an almost unbelievable
        scale (myths, linguistics, genetics -- all leading back to reconstructing
        common mythological structures and heading back into common elements
        among groups that have been separated since the colonization of
        Australia...) Just recently out, and very interesting.

        Tony Z

        Courage is a virtue. It does not follow that all
        courageous acts are in the service of virtuous ends.
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